Human relations movement originated in 1920s with the conduction of Hawthorne studies. It examined the effects of motivation and employee satisfaction on the productivity of an organization. The study considered the psychological aspects of the workers. .
Researchers emphasized culture, interpersonal relations, and group coherence as the determinants of worker performance.
Before industrial revolution the work was mostly performed by individual workers. Any particular skill was undertaken by an individual and was time consuming. As a result the productivity was low. With the industrial revolution the nature of work and the role of the worker underwent major changes. With the arrival of machines and factories, the production increased. Along with raw materials and capital, labor was also considered a part of the manufacturing process. The employers never considered how productivity was influenced by a worker's mental needs. As a result, motivation, social relations and working conditions were never considered important. Nevertheless it affected productivity in a major way. This movement had many followers like Keith Davis, Chris Argyris, Fred Herzberg, and Rensis Likert who assumed the underlying employee-employer harmony. They attributed restriction of output to the poor communication between workers and managers, and inadequate attention to the human side of worker.
Elton Mayo (1880-1949), a Harvard professor trained in psychopathology and other researchers from Harvard University initiated what have become known as the Hawthorne Studies at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company near Chicago. ...